This is where it can all go downhill quickly. In the pressure to make as many pennies out of a nickel, a lot of research corporations will not just sell your answers but the data associated with it. Details that you provide when taking paid surveys such as your name, address, age range can all be attached together quickly to fulfill a lot of larger companies' requests for information (RFI).
Free to join, the site runs a range of special offers, including awarding prizes at random, giving you daily targets to hit for which you receive bonus points, and posting deals on their social media feeds. They have a great new app and a strong referral scheme. However, like everything, it’s not perfect – it can start to suck up a lot of your time. Swagbucks runs on the premise of incentivising day to day internet use to make both you and them money, so it is worth being aware of this so it doesn’t end up seeping into too much of your life!
When companies want to better focus their marketing, advertising, and product development efforts, they will contract with a market research firm to target their ideal demographic (for example, men between the ages of 40-60 who play golf), and gather information about consumers’ opinions on their product or service. You can read this article, to learn more about market research.
One other well paying survey site is Vindale Research. They have been around for awhile. I just joined them and got $2.00 just for creating a account. The thing I like the best about them is they send you brand new surveys to your email with how much you will be paid to take them. They also offer to transfer your money to your paypal account or send you a check. Check them out and sign up here http://tryvindale.com/VJTb1g9Q
They used to be cash-only, but in 2013 they switched over to a points system. Panelists can share their opinions in surveys and complete other various offers in exchange for points. 100 points is equal to $1, and most of their surveys pay up to $3. Survey topics are diverse and cover a variety of different topics. Pinecone Research is unique in that they emphasize consumption related surveys more than other panels.
Amazon gift cards and PayPal are obviously popular choices, so naturally like most sites MySurvey had those. These guys did not stop there though. At the time of writing (I double checked) they also offer various sweepstakes, gift cards to restaurants, you can donate to charities like UNICEF through them, they have iTune gift cards, their very own merchandising products and also Starbucks, Walmart and Tango gift cards among many more options!
While product testing is offered, you’ll only get sent items if you qualify, and then it will only be a couple over the space of several months, so think of this as a bonus, rather than a regular part of your work. Some users get frustrated at the length of time they have to wait for vouchers to arrive after they order them – especially when somewhere like Opinion Outpost will pay out straight away. However it is unfortunately quite standard to have to wait weeks for payment from survey sites. Surveys range in duration from about 15 to 30 minutes and there are mini polls on the website which can help you tot up small amounts of extra points. Points do sometimes take days or even weeks to appear in Toluna accounts, which is worth noting.
IOCS is a not-for-profit research organization that conducts studies and experiments on shopping-related behavior – things like how we, as consumers, evaluate products, how we make the buying decisions, etc. Although the focus is mostly on shopping related behavior, some of their experiments and studies include broader areas of marketing, psychology, and economics.
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Survey Junkie makes it quick and easy to jump into the survey game. According to their websites, they say they are the “most popular spot online to earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts,” while that might not be technically true, they are one of the largest survey sites out there. They were launched all the way back in 2005 (which is pretty old for a survey site) and they have over 4,000,000 members.
Ipsos i-Say: A reputable, global survey-based market research company that gives its community members a chance to provide opinions in exchange for survey points that earn you money. Earn towards gift cards to spend at your favorite places such as Starbucks, Amazon, Target, and more. Or just trade in for cash through prepaid VISA gift cards or Pay Pal funds! Go here to see if you qualify. (Spots fill up quickly and reset each month, so if you aren’t accepted, try back around the 1st of the next month!)
MintVine is a cool looking paid survey site that makes it easy to complete a survey, without having to spend too long learning how to do it. One of the things I liked most about MintVine is that they offer a huge amount of ways to get paid: there’s the old favorite PayPal of course, but you can also choose Starbucks cards, Amazon and other gift cards, and even restaurant cards. Your surveys can pay for your next meal, and it’s easy to rack up points here. Some users have reported delays in receiving payments however, but this isn’t a scam and MintVine are working hard to speed up their process and iron our any glitches. If they do, they could be heading into the Survey Cool top ten in 2018.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are people who do make a few thousand dollars or more a year with paid surveys. But that’s not the norm. If you do want to increase your earnings substantially, your best bet is to also join focus groups (we have a big list of ’em. Just do a quick search on Google for “moneypantry.com focus groups”). They pay much more between $50 to $400 or more per focus group secession.
Surveys are just a small piece of the puzzle. The best part about the surveys is that the qualification questions are typically short, there to confirm you're not breezing through it, and you can still earn points if you don't qualify. You will not answer 30 questions and then get denied, with zero to show for it. As of May 2017, they've paid out $191.5 million. They give out 7,000 free gift cards every single day.
They claim to also offer paid product testing opportunities. But it’s not really paid product testing, but more of getting cash back. Basically, besides surveys, you can purchase products and services through their portal and earn a certain amount of cash back for every dollar you spend. If you were going to buy something already, it’s a great way to get some of the cash back. But don’t just buy something because of the cashback.
Ultimately, it is very unlikely that participating in online surveys will provide you with a steady, livable wage. However, if you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you like the prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), be sure to avoid questionable third-party sites. Look for real paid surveys online that don’t require you to invest money.
Something very important to note before signing up at any site claiming to pay you cash to take surveys is that all legitimate sites offering online surveys that pay do not charge registration fees – they are free to join. Some sites may even offer you bonus as you sign in, to show you they are happy you have become a part of their team and helping them increase their revenue.